Innovative tip-to-tail ideas for reducing seafood waste

  • Anya Khalamayzer
  • February 15, 2018
While the seafood industry grows, driven by rising demand from a health-conscious middle class, fish stocks are struggling to keep up. Seafood production has increased from 19.3 million to 163 million tons from 1950 to 2009, according to industry analyst Food Ingredients First. Oceans provide 20 percent of the world's food, yet all but 10 percent of seafood species have become overfished. Compounding the problem is the way that fish are caught, cut and preserved for transportation, or simply because there's no market demand for certain cuts of fish.

However, some savvy companies are cashing in on seafood waste by creating value from it. It's one of the top trends in the seafood industry, converging with the rise of the circular economy, particularly in food.

"About 40 percent of all seafood goes to waste," said Monica Jain, executive director of Fish 2.0, a startup accelerator for sustainable seafood solutions. Yet she predicts this will drop to about 10 percent over the next decade.

"Not only will we use more of the seafood we capture, we'll also turn today's waste byproducts into valuable co-products," Jain wrote. And that's important, she told GreenBiz, because "we need sustainability to maintain the volume of fish we're taking out of the ocean at present, because we're not likely to decrease the amount of fish taken from the ocean."

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Tags: 2017 Competition

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